Friday, September 25, 2015

Bergdahl Not Fitbit For Service

Nor am I. This blog sucks now. I blame the whole cloth I'm working with.

"The Department of Veterans Affairs is preparing to run a clinical trial next February to monitor veterans with back pain. The biometric data are stored in the device and downloaded automatically via a Bluetooth connection."

"Mental defect of Bergdahl asserted; Alleged deserter’s diagnosis cited" by Richard A. Oppel Jr. New York Times  September 18, 2015

SAN ANTONIO — Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl disappeared in eastern Afghanistan on June 30, 2009, and was held captive by the Taliban for nearly five years, until President Obama agreed to exchange him for five Taliban detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in a deal that spurred criticism from Republicans.

It's now Obama's Guantanamo, and whatever happened to that impeachment talk?

Prosecutors hope to persuade the hearing officer, Lieutenant Colonel Mark Visger, an Army lawyer, that Bergdahl, who was a private first class at the time, acted with deliberate disregard for the consequences of his actions when he left the base to seek out a senior commander....

Defense lawyers have previously said that Bergdahl left so he could hike to another base and report undisclosed “disturbing circumstances” at his unit to a high-ranking officer.

Captain John P. Billings, Bergdahl’s former platoon leader, testified that he was shocked and devastated as he realized Bergdahl was missing.

He suggested that he was unaware of any problems with Bergdahl, describing him as “a great soldier, by all accounts” who had scored high on his physical fitness tests and who “always did everything he was asked to do.”

But the captain awoke that morning to find that Bergdahl had left his weapon and his night-vision goggles on his cot, with no sign of foul play or physical scuffle. Billings said he hoped his troops were just playing a trick on him when they said they could not find him.


We are told he has a “severe mental disease or defect,” by one of his lawyers, a Lieutenant Colonel Franklin D. Rosenblatt of the Army.

"Army general calls sending Bergdahl to prison inappropriate" by Richard A. Oppel Jr. New York Times  September 19, 2015

SAN ANTONIO — A general who led the Army’s investigation into the disappearance of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl from his remote outpost in Afghanistan in 2009 said on Friday that sentencing the sergeant to prison would be inappropriate.

Major General Kenneth R. Dahl, who interviewed 57 witnesses in his 59-day inquiry, testified that Bergdahl had unreasonable or delusional expectations about his deployment and about his unit’s soldiers.

But Dahl said he found Bergdahl truthful during the day and a half he interviewed him. Dahl also said that Bergdahl had shown remorse about how his decision to leave his base could have endangered others.

You can read the report here, such as it is.


His testimony came during a preliminary hearing. Another defense witness, one of the military’s top debriefers of prisoners of war, suggested that Bergdahl’s captivity was the worst any American had endured since the Vietnam War.

The hearing will help determine whether Bergdahl will be court-martialed for desertion and for endangering the troops ordered to search for him. Bergdahl, 29, faces the possibility of life imprisonment on the endangerment charge — formally known as misbehavior before the enemy — and a maximum five-year sentence if convicted of desertion.

But the unequivocal statement by Dahl, elicited during questioning by Bergdahl’s lead defense lawyer, Eugene Fidell, could play a significant role going forward. If the Army officers responsible for prosecuting Bergdahl were to decide to seek prison time, they would contradict Dahl, whose investigation forms the basis for the case.

In his testimony, the first time he has spoken publicly about his investigation, Dahl impeached much of the news coverage since President Obama approved exchanging Bergdahl for five Taliban detainees in May 2014.

For example, despite claims that a half-dozen soldiers died in the search for Bergdahl, Dahl testified that he had found no evidence that any soldier had been killed in the effort. And Bergdahl did not intend to walk to China or India, as other soldiers suggested. Instead, the general said that while Bergdahl might have made the comment, it was typical idle chatter.

Nor, he said, did Bergdahl ever intend to desert and join the Taliban. When he mailed his computer home, it was not because he intended to flee, the general said. He did so because he knew he might be imprisoned once he arrived at the US base he intended to hike to, and he wanted his personal items to be in good hands.


I'll be deserting you now.